Audio: Ambassador Ryan Crocker (Keynote)

  • Oct 22, 2010
    Duration: 00:53:18

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    During the President's September 1st announcement heralding the end of combat operations, he highlighted the importance of an enduring strategic partnership between the U.S. and Iraq. However, given Iraq's continuing challenges in government formation after the parliamentary elections earlier this year, there has been no meaningful discussion between the two governments on the character or scale of the U.S. military’s role in any future partnership. Further, as Iraq is a fledgling democracy often plagued by political intransigence and sharp ethno-religious divisions, U.S. authorities cannot dismiss the possibility of having to assist Iraqis prevent, limit, or halt future civil conflict, perhaps even after the negotiated December 2011 deadline for a complete U.S. military withdrawal. To offset the risks associated with these key uncertainties, ultimately, Pentagon policymakers and planners must account for a spectrum of possible responsibilities in Iraq -- some routine, others much more challenging and sensitive. This event intends to explore Iraq's future stability and security and the various roles of U.S. military forces in support of a strategic bilateral partnership going forward.